Pruning tomatoes

Pruning tomatoes

We finally pruned and trellised a bed of very overgrown bed of tomatoes in the greenhouse today.  Tomato pruning is one of my favorite farming projects: it takes some thinking and decision-making, you get to handle plants intimately, and the intoxicating resin leaves my hands black and my nose bizarrely satisfied.  

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Spring begins

Spring begins

This was the first day I got to spend a big chunk of time in the trees with the core crew, and it was so lovely.  Pruning continues to be one of my favorite activities-- not just farming activities, but all-around all-time activities-- because it starts as a big jumbled mess, lets you climb trees and think three-dimensionally and move your body in unexpected ways, and ends with a much tidier framework for the tree to grow into the season. 

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Pricking out, filling up

Pricking out, filling up

I was yelling and still not quite making myself clear.  No, I wasn't mad, or even agitated.  I was just trying to give instructions under a greenhouse being pummeled by raindrops.  I've said it before and I'll say it again: the rain on plastic is deafening.  I spent the morning with the interns thinning and filling in plant sale trays of brassicas and lettuces.  It's refreshing and fun for me to help develop new skills with these enthused people.  They pick things up quickly, and so far I just check in every now and again to give pointers on efficiency, another eye to completion, and reassurance that they're doing a great job.

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What the trees think of us

I like to wonder what the trees think of us.  They stand through frosts and heat waves, catching the first light of morning and the last reflected rays of evening, day after day after day.  Many of them were planted when I was still a kid, oblivious to their existence and instead picking little Italian plums from my front yard in the summer.  Even the youngest trees in the orchard have known the farm longer than I have.  They came from various nurseries, grafted by nimble hands to make whole two disjointed halves.  Since they were planted, they have known only one spot on this planet.  They've watched the world go by.

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